Car Chase Nabs Killer Of Wife, 2-Year-Old

A commune clerk suspected of killing his wife and 2-year-old son was caught after being chased at high speed by two police cars and three motorcycles through Sihanoukville on Monday with his surviving 4-year-old son on board his 2003 Toyota Corolla, police said.

“We tried to cut the suspect off five times—our car hit the front of the suspect’s car five times,” said Yem Phorn, chief of the Preah Sihanouk provincial police’s serious crimes bureau. “We were trying to prevent the suspect from driving into crowded areas.”

Nine police officers pursued Oum Reaksmey, 35, for 20 minutes through the city, Mr. Phorn said. The officers finally fired twice at the fugitive’s back tires, leading to Mr. Reaksmey’s arrest, he said.

Mr. Reaksmey, 35, was a clerk for 15 years at Koh Touch commune in Kampot province’s Toek Chhou district, commune chief Sun Hout said. But over the past two years, he had only been showing up at the office about once or twice a week.

Sim Soyoeu, the police chief in Kampot City’s Andoung Khmer commune, where the suspect lived, said Mr. Reaksmey had a history of drug abuse and had been undergoing treatment at a Phnom Penh rehabilitation center until last month.

Mr. Reaksmey left his home in his car at about 5 a.m. on Monday morning, and neighbors soon raised the alarm after realizing that his wife and child had been murdered, he said.

Nhim Veth, the chief of Kampot City police, said that after his arrest in the neighboring province, the suspect was questioned and confessed to murdering his 24-year-old wife and child early that morning, though he refused to give a motive.

“He hit them many times with a hoe,” Mr. Veth said. “When the child screamed, he hit the child.”

Police would continue questioning Mr. Reaksmey today, he added.

Mr. Phorn, the serious crimes police chief, said the surviving 4-year-old son would be sent to relatives to be cared for.

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